Owning a home with a fireplace can be great in many ways-- a fireplace can provide warmth during the winter months and also become a focal point of a room. But if you own a house with a fire place, it is important to properly maintain and care for the chimney. Chimneys can have several issues that require attention or repair. Some of the most common chimney problems include:
Chimney Blockage or Obstruction
A chimney needs to be completely clear so smoke and fumes can safely flow out of a home. Unfortunately, chimney can become blocked by birds nests, leaves, or other debris. It is also possible for an ambient updraft or negative air pressure in a home to prevent the smoke from exiting the chimney properly. A chimney blockage or obstruction can be quite dangerous; if the chimney is not clear, carbon monoxide can build up indoors or people can be exposed to smoke fumes. If you suspect a chimney blockage or obstruction, contact a chimney professional.
Build up of Creosote
When smoke goes up your chimney, it can deposit creosote in the flue lining. Creosote is a compound that consists of a mixture of tar and soot that is very flammable. If a lot of creosote builds up in the chimney flue, it can ignite and lead to a very dangerous house fire. It is very important to have your chimney inspected annually to ensure that there is not a dangerous amount of creosote in the flue lining. If a lot of creosote is discovered, make arrangements to have your chimney cleaned before you use it again.
Problems with the Chimney Structure
The exterior of a chimney is exposed to the elements and can deteriorate if it is not properly maintained. A chimney that is neglected over an extended period of time is more at risk for leaning, crumbling, or eventually collapsing completely. Exposure to moisture is one of the leading causes of exterior chimney problems. If the outside of your chimney needs attention, you can opt for tuckpointing, which is a procedure where a chimney repair company replaces damaged mortar with new mortar to improve stability.
Cracked Flue Liner
A chimney flue has a liner which can withstand the stress and heat of high temperatures and exposure to smoke. This liner also protects the flammable material of a house from catching fire when the fireplace is being used. If moisture gets into the chimney system, it can cause the flue liner to crack. If this happens, it is essential to have the liner replaced before using the fireplace to prevent a house fire.
Contact a company, like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service, for more help.